Daily cold-water recovery may impair training load tolerance during heat-based training
David N. Borg, Ian B. Stewart, John O. Osborne, Chris C. Drovandi, Dr Joseph Costello, Jamie Stanley & Geoffrey G. Minett
Purpose: This study examined the effects of daily cold- and hot-water recovery on training load (TL) during 5-days of heat-based training.
Methods: Eight males completed 5-days of cycle training for 60-min (50% peak power output) in four different conditions, using a block countered-balanced order design. Three conditions were completed in the heat (35 °C) and one in a thermoneutral environment (24 °C, CON). Each day after cycling, participants completed 20 min of seated rest (CON and heat-training, HT), or cold- (14 °C; HTCWI) or hot-water immersion (39 °C; HTHWI). Heart rate, rectal temperature, and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were collected during cycling. A session-RPE was collected 10-min after recovery for the determination of session-RPE TL. Data were analysed using hierarchical regression in a Bayesian framework, Cohens d was calculated, and for session-RPE TL, the probability that d >0.5 was also computed.
Results: There was evidence that session-RPE TL was increased in HTCWI (d= 2.90) and HTHWI (d= 2.38) compared to HT. The probability that d >0.5 was .99 and .96, respectively. The higher session-RPE TL observed in HTCWI coincided with a greater cardiovascular (d= 2.29) and thermoregulatory (d= 2.68) response during cycling compared to HT. This result was not observed for HTHWI.
Conclusion: These findings may suggest that (1) cold-water recovery may negatively affect TL during 5-days of heat-based training; (2) hot-water recovery could increase session-RPE TL; and (3) the session-RPE method can detect environmental temperature mediated increases in TL in the context of this study.